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Semin Surg Oncol. 1998 Mar;14(2):171-4.

Cryotherapy for primary liver cancer.

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Liver Cancer Institute, Zhong Shan Hospital, Shanghai Medical University, People's Republic of China.


Between November 1973 and December 1996, the in situ freezing of tumor, i.e., cryotherapy, was performed with liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees C) on 235 patients with primary liver cancer (PLC). There were no operative mortalities or severe complications. The 5-year survival was 39.8% for the 235 PLC patients, and 55.4% for the 80 patients with small PLC (< or = 5 cm). When analyzed with respect to treatment modalities without considering the size of the tumor, the 5-year survival was 26.9% for 78 PLC patients treated by cryotherapy alone; 39.6% for 58 PLC patients treated by cryotherapy plus hepatic artery ligation and perfusion; 46.0% for 27 PLC patients treated by cryotherapy for residual tumor plus resection of the main tumor; and 60.4% for 72 PLC patients treated by cryotherapy followed by resection of the frozen tumor. These results indicate that cryotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for PLC.

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